Share Posted by TORONTO — A WestJet flight was grounded in Toronto after customs officers determined there were iguanas loose in the aircraft.WestJet spokesperson Lauren Stewart says a passenger on a flight from Cuba to Toronto was discovered to be carrying iguanas in his checked luggage.Stewart says the passenger had hidden four iguanas in his luggage but when they were discovered by customs officers in Toronto, only two of the lizards were in the suitcase.The flight crews were notified and the plane was stopped in order to have the cargo hold fumigated to prevent the escaped lizards from chewing through wires or damaging the aircraft.Stewart says the aircraft couldn’t fly on to Vancouver due to the delay, but passengers were transferred to another plane that left 50 minutes later.Stewart says this type of incident is uncommon but reminds customers to always book their pets with the airline ahead of time and bring them in proper carrying cases to ensure they are safe and comfortable.More news: TRAVELSAVERS welcomes Julie Virgilio to the teamThe incident comes after a pet Gecko was lost on a flight in July. Tags: LOL The Canadian Press Monday, September 19, 2016 Iguanas on the loose in WestJet aircraft causing delay << Previous PostNext Post >>
Sandals, Marriott sign deal for new $50 million hotel in Jamaica Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> Tuesday, January 24, 2017 KINGSTON — Sandals Resorts International has partnered with Marriott International to manage a new 220-room AC Hotels by Marriott property in Jamaica’s capital. Construction on the $50 million AC Kingston is now underway and the hotel is scheduled to open in winter 2019.According to reports, the hotel will include a 10,000 square foot conference centre and dining and retail space.Travellers are picking up on Kingston’s “renewed energy” and many are making Kingston their starting point before heading to their beach vacation, said Sandals CEO Adam Stewart. Sandals wants to make the new AC Kingston “a destination within a destination”, he said, adding that AC Hotels by Marriott “is the right brand to bring our vision to life.” AC Hotels’ design DNA is European modernism, with sleek lines and muted colours. According to Marriott, AC Hotels is aimed at “a new kind of traveller – a creative, entrepreneurial and modern global traveller – who prefers to have fewer things, but expects them to be better than good.”More news: Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”There are now close to 100 AC Hotels properties throughout Europe, North America and Latin America. The new AC Kingston will be the first in the Caribbean. Tags: Marriott, Sandals Resorts Travelweek Group
By land and by sea, 2018’s hotel happenings & cruise news TORONTO — Vertical integration is still the name of the game so it’s no wonder tour operators pressed on with plans for new resorts, and new resort alliances, in 2018.Rounding up the industry stories making headlines this year, we also look at the 2018 good-news recovery stories from the wild 2017 hurricane season, and a volcano that seemed to attract twice as many visitors as it kept away. Plus, a major closure that could hit the travel compensation funds in Ontario, Quebec and B.C. for millions of dollars.Through it all agents kept doing what they do best: counseling their clients, selling just about everything under the sun and staying sane knowing that no matter what the industry comes up with, they can handle it.HOTEL HAPPENINGSSunwing Travel Group, already a major player on the resort scene with its Blue Diamond Resorts hotel division with 15,000+ rooms across more than a half dozen brands, fortified its position even further with a blockbuster deal with Planet Hollywood. Announcing the venture in February 2018, Sunwing Travel Group and Planet Hollywood said initial plans called for two resorts in Mexico and Costa Rica, with more to come. Right on time, Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica opened in fall 2018. In Mexico, Planet Hollywood Resort Cancun is slated to open in spring 2019. Sunwing is also transforming the site of the former Sonesta Great Bay in St. Maarten into a Planet Hollywood resort. And in October Sunwing announced plans to expand its hotel division again with the addition of six of Rex Resorts’ Caribbean hotels, part of a newly formed strategic alliance that will see Sunwing grow its presence in destinations including Grenada, Tobago and Barbados.Transat’s resort plans meanwhile are taking shape like never before, as the company makes good on its decision, first divulged in 2017, to develop its own hotel chain in the Caribbean. In September 2018 Transat announced it had purchased a stretch of land in Riviera Maya, in Puerto Morelos on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, is ideally situated midway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen some 20 kilometres from Cancun International Airport.More news: CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise CollectionThe company has also entered into a promissory agreement to purchase a second adjacent property for a total consideration of between US$54 and $57 million to build a new beachfront resort.Transat says its new hotel division will include some 5,000 owned or managed hotel rooms at its main Sun destinations by 2024.There was more hotel news from Hilton and Playa, with the introduction of Hilton La Romana, an All-inclusive Resort, and Hilton Playa del Carmen, an All-inclusive Resort, adding 1,269 new Hilton guest rooms to its existing global portfolio as part of a strategic alliance. In September 2018 Playa took over management of the resort currently known as Dreams La Romana (rebranded as the Hilton La Romana) while The Royal Playa del Carmen became Hilton Playa del Carmen, an All-inclusive Resort. The agreement between Playa Hotels and Hilton also includes the potential for the conversion and management of eight additional resorts by 2025.And in other news, Sandals Resorts released new details about its ground-breaking Tobago development, saying it planned to build a Sandals Resort and a Beaches Resort side by side, with close to 300 rooms and 450-500 rooms respectively.WILD WEATHERThis was the comeback year for destinations like Puerto Rico, Dominica, Anguilla and St. Maarten, all of which took a hit from 2017’s hurricanes. Sunwing Travel Group’s newest Planet Hollywood resort is taking shape on the site of the former Sonesta Great Bay, which had closed after Irma hit the island in September 2017. Meanwhile AMResorts is bringing a new Secrets resort to St. Martin, on the site of the former Riu Palace St. Martin. A $20 million reno will get the place in shape in time for its 2019 reopening.In October 2018 Hawaii confirmed it was ‘open for business’ despite a volcano eruption and two close calls with hurricanes. Kilauea volcano’s eruptions began May 3 with lava flowing continuously until Aug. 6, and generated headlines worldwide, but it was only a small area that was affected on the Island of Hawaii.More news: Sunwing to further boost Mazatlán service with new flights from OttawaSINORAMAIn August 2018 Sinorama Holidays closed its doors after 13 years in business, with a voluntary termination of its Ontario Travel Industry Act, 2002 registration.Over its 13-year history Sinorama Group expanded from Canada into Europe, Australia/New Zealand and the U.S., began trading as a public company in the States and reportedly sold $123 million worth of travel in 2017, up 27% over the previous year.And yet by April 2018 the company was allegedly running a $10.9 million shortfall and scrambling to bring in new money to cover the deficit, at least according to reports in consumer paper La Presse, which covered Sinorama’s financial tailspin extensively.Quebec’s travel regulator, the Office de la protection de la consommateur (OPC), first notified the Montreal-based operations of Sinorama that its license would not be renewed in that province, citing insufficient funds. Soon alarm bells were going off at Consumer Protection B.C. too.At the same time, TICO issued a closure advisory for Markham-based Sinorama Holidays Inc. as the company voluntarily terminated its Ontario registration. The hit to Ontario’s Travel Compensation Fund from the Sinorama Holidays Inc. closure could exceed the $5 million legislated maximum. The six-month window to file a claim is Feb. 11, 2019.CRUISE CONTROLAccording to CLIA’s latest stats, some 30 million passengers are expected to cruise in 2019, up from 28.2 in 2018. Close to 20 new ships will debut in 2019, bringing the number of CLIA-member ship to 272. Revenues are up, yields are up and interest in cruising continues unabated, especially thanks for headline-grabbing newcomers like Symphony of the Seas (March 2018), Norwegian Bliss (May 2018) and Celebrity Edge. Sales for river cruising, despite difficulties with low water levels in Europe in 2018, are still through the roof. And all eyes are on the first of Virgin Voyages’ four new ships, Scarlet Lady, getting ready to set sail, and set new benchmarks for adults-only cruising, in 2020. Tags: Norwegian Cruise Line, Planet Hollywood, Sinorama, Transat, Virgin Voyages Posted by Share Travelweek Group Thursday, December 27, 2018 << Previous PostNext Post >>
Facebook Comments Related posts:Large-scale St. Patrick’s festival invades Escazú St. Patrick’s Day celebration floods Escazú with green beer 3rd annual Craft Beer Festival happening Saturday The Winners and Losers of Costa Rica in 2014 St. Patrick’s Day is imminent, and that means the world is about to consume a lot of beer: 13 million pints of Guinness alone are expected to be consumed.Obviously you will be thinking about science when you down those holiday libations, so the American Chemical Society’s Reactions series on YouTube has everything you ever wanted to know about beer chemistry. Here are some highlights, along with additional facts of our own:All beer (cheap and steep) is made the same wayThe ingredients may change, but the process is the same:Malted (a.k.a toasted) grain is heated in water, where its starch is broken down into sugar. Yeast makes that sweet stuff bubbly (and alcoholic) by eating the sugar and producing carbon dioxide and alcohol. Different kinds and amounts of hops (the female flowering cones of plants from the hops family) go into the mix as well.There are tons of ways to change a beer’s flavorDifferent kinds of malts produce different chemical flavor compounds, and different temperatures of grain soaking activate different enzymes with different flavor results.And then there are the hops: In addition to adding essential oil aromas from their flowery origins, hops produce alpha acids, such as humulone, which give IPAs that quintessential hoppy taste. Personally, I think it tastes like chewing on a piece of pine tree. This is apparently not a common opinion, so enjoy your hops or whatever. Hops also interact with alcohol to make compounds called esters, which have a fruity flavor.When a beer is left to age, hops can produce another bitter note — beta acids. Eww, you can have mine.Beer can skunk even in the cold (it’s all about sunlight)Only you can prevent skunked beer. Many think that beer only “skunks” (or turns nasty) when it’s left out in the heat. But it’s actually a matter of getting left out in the light.Your Guinness is less likely to spill than your light beer, and here’s whyBonus beer science: Beer physics! In a recent study, researchers found that more layers of foam on top of a liquid make it less likely to spill. That’s because the foam sloshes against the container and diffuses energy as the liquid shakes back and forth.So going with some hearty traditional beer may be good for more than just your holiday spirit. It could keep your clothes dry, too, as you get tipsier.© 2015, The Washington Post
Related posts:Soul legend Bobby Womack dead at 70 Apple working to complete streaming music deal with record labels before June 8 Apple unveils streaming music, improvements to iPhones, Watch software The ‘Fifth Beatle’ Andy White dies at 85 The artistStanley “Mouse” Miller hung out with Janis Joplin, came of age around R. Crumb and somehow found himself in a snapshot of John and Yoko during the famous bed-in. But we’re here because this is the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead, when products even loosely related to the band are springing up faster than salmon headed for Redfish Lake.To be fair, Miller’s new book, “California Dreams,” is about more than Jerry & Co. Yes, Miller and his collaborator, the late Alton Kelley, did create the famous skeleton and roses logo adopted by the Dead. But the artist’s work stretches from his early ’60s hot-rod-and-monster cartoons to the psychedelic posters pervading San Francisco and, later, iconic album covers for Steve Miller and Journey. “California Dreams” also includes images of the figurative oil paintings that Miller has worked on in recent years.The artist, now 74, spoke with us recently about five specific works in his book. Excerpts follow: Stanley “Mouse” Miller’s “Mouse Equipped,” 1963. Stanley MouseYou call this genre “weirdo art.” How did you start down this road?There were a series of artists, like in Mad magazine, who did these monster faces, and a guy called Monty and he was in Los Angeles and had little ads in the back of hot rod magazines and he made these funny stickers. A fork with an eyeball on the end of it. Little crazy things like that. Kind of the first of the weirdo. I saw that and immediately started doing it in Detroit.It was a giant fad. I felt like the Beatles. I was the only kid in school with a new Corvette. Imagine that. Become an artist. Get rich. And have fun. That truly was a different era. Stanley “Mouse” Miller’s “Journey Escape,” 1980. Stanley MouseJourney’s seventh studio album spawned four hits, including “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” and “Open Arms.”I did the ‘Capture’ album in 1981, and it is a scarab that carries its eggs in a dung bowl. When the eggs hatch, the babies feed off the dung and become beetles. It’s the regeneration of life. ‘Escape’ is the beetle breaking out of a planet, which was the dung ball he was pushing around.Do you think singer Steve Perry or anybody in the band knew about this?I didn’t even know about it. Some Japanese media people came to interview me about it. So I had to do some research. I went into ancient Egyptian mythology and learned myself.We (collaborator Alton Kelley) would go to the San Francisco library and peruse the books on poster art. They had a back room full of books you couldn’t take out with great references. We were just going through that and looking for something. And found this thing and thought, ‘This says Grateful Dead all over it.’ I hate to say this, but Kelley cut it out with a pen knife. I always say that we Xeroxed it, but there weren’t Xerox machines then. I finally found it about two years ago. The actual cut out piece and I went, ‘oh my God.’ It’s from the book of poems, ‘The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam.’ The edition was done by an artist called Edmund Sullivan. And the poem that goes with this illustration is fantastic. It’s short and sweet and had to do with wine, women and song.Miller moved to Santa Fe in the early 1980s, which is when he began working more on figurative paintings.I wanted to learn how to oil paint really good, so I picked out the best painter in Santa Fe and asked if he would teach me. He said, ‘It’s easy, just smoosh the paint around,’ and he left the room. And it was so true. All I had to do was learn how the paint worked. He knew I already could draw well.Miller didn’t expect much when he met the model in “Peacock Feather.”It was just one of those things where this girl said, ‘Paint me and make my butt big.’ I wasn’t really into it. She sat there like that, and I painted a fantastic painting. I always wanted to paint like that, like I saw in museums all my life. Now when I am approaching that, and I kind of can do it, nobody cares. They’ll look at my book even and they’ll avoid that whole section. Stanley “Mouse” Miller’s “Earthquake, Bo Diddley,” 1966. Stanley MouseThe gig posters Miller, Kelley and artists like Victor Moscoso and Rick Griffin crafted used bright colors, elaborate typesets and historic photos. Today, the posters are heavily collected and even featured in museums.That’s the Santa Rosa earthquake and the Santa Rosa Courthouse. It’s just a thing that all the artists did right then. Like a fad. It’s like finding old stuff that’s good, that’s really cool and bringing back and presenting it again. Taking something like that that’s so iconic and bringing it out again in a new form. All the stuff we used was all public domain. We were very conscious about copyright. Now, I find people like just stealing my stuff and putting it on posters. One of my hot rod things, I don’t want to even mention the guy’s name, he just stole it.What did you do?I grumbled.Related: $100,000 for a 3-day pass to the Grateful Dead’s final shows © 2015, The Washington Post Facebook Comments
The government recently launched a campaign aimed at combatting vulgar catcalling and groping in public places. The campaign, dubbed “Actuemos en contra del acoso sexual” (Let’s act against sexual harassment), consists of messages on social media, buses and billboards.One spot that is being displayed on 450 screens inside buses in the Greater Metropolitan Area shows a man on a bus who gets up from his seat to whisper something in a woman’s ear at close range. The man then goes on to make inappropriate physical gestures towards two other women on the bus.Six out of 10 women in Costa Rica say they’ve been victims of sexual harassment in public spaces here, according to a survey by the University of Costa Rica (UCR) released in January. The campaign is a joint effort of the National Women’s Institute (INAMU), the Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT), the Ombudsman’s Office, feminist collective Peras del Olmo and several public bus companies.Ana Hidalgo, who coordinates INAMU’s program on gender-based violence, said the campaign seeks to educate people about sexual harassment in public spaces and to motivate citizens to act against it.In the first stage of the campaign, messages are specifically targeting sexual harassment on public transportation. Participant agencies and bus companies will promote the messages for the rest of this year.Messages also aim at informing the population about the agencies where victims can file a complaint and about organizations that provide support to victims, Hidalgo said.In a second stage of the campaign messages also will be displayed on billboards and on the outside of buses. The spot will also be shown at movie theaters during previews.INAMU President Alejandra Mora, who’s also the government minister of women’s issues, said officials are working to implement further actions to promote safer public spaces for women.“We will also offer training for bus drivers so they know how to respond if a passenger is being harassed,” Mora said.She said sexual harassment harms the physical, psychological and sexual integrity of women who are constant victims of catcalling, vulgar gestures, groping and sexual abuse.Peras del Olmo sociologist Ariel Calderón said it is time citizens assume a modern and civilized attitude of respect towards all people. “We should stop thinking that sexual street harassment consists only of catcalling,” he said.INAMU officials hope more companies join the campaign and begin reposting the messages on their social media profiles.MOPT minister Carlos Villalta also made a public call to bus companies all over the country to collaborate with the campaign and play the spot on their vehicles’ screens.Only a misdemeanorAmong the most common types of sexual harassment identified by the UCR’s survey are catcalling, wolf-whistling, vulgar gestures, leering, groping, purposefully rubbing up against someone, indecent exposure and preventing a person from passing in a public space.The investigation also found that the Misdemeanors Court and various public agencies register complaints of sexual harassment on streets against women of all ages, including children and the elderly.Under Costa Rica’s Criminal Code, none of the behaviors considered street harassment are considered crimes.Article 392 of the country’s Penal Code considers sexual harassment a minor offense described as a “violation against decency.” Filing a complaint requires the offender to be fully identified by police.If the suspect does not carry an ID, cops will take him (or her) to the nearest precinct for a full identification and then release the suspect.The complaint then goes to a Misdemeanors Court where the victim has to provide evidence or a witness. If the judge finds the suspect guilty, the offender may have to pay a monetary fine ranging from $120 to $750.Ombudswoman Montserrat Solano Carboni said Thursday that she recommends that victims immediately Call 9-1-1 so that police officers can identify the harasser in order to take the complaint to court.The Ombudsman’s Office also provides legal and psychological assistance to victims that can be requested by phone at: 4000-8693 and 4000-8694, Solano said.Civil actionRecent cases of street harassment that made headlines here prompted public demonstrations asking for stricter sanctions for these behaviors.Women’s rights group Colectivo Acción Respeto Costa Rica and other organizations launched an effort last October to draft and submit a bill that would criminalize catcalls and other forms of sexual harassment on Costa Rica’s streets.The groups are asking for a more expeditious process for filing a complaint. They also want the court to issue protective measures for victims.Their proposal also demands stricter sanctions for recidivist offenders and for those found guilty of harassing minors, disabled or elderly people.Under the proposed law, the Judicial Branch would create a registry of complaints that facilitates monitoring of sexual harassment offenders.Proponents also want a protocol developed for dealing with sexual harassment victims, including training for police officers.The proposal, however, is stalled at the Legislative Assembly and was not included in the agenda of priority bills to be discussed during the current legislative session. Facebook Comments Related posts:PHOTOS: Costa Rica march demands end to street harassment Video shows suspected killers of Gerardo Cruz, who confronted man filming up skirt Police arrest suspected killers of Gerardo Cruz Costa Rica launches plan to curb violence against women
Related posts:Guanacaste airport expansion set to begin in January President Solís inaugurates first phase of long-awaited Golfito Marina Village President Solís pledges to repair road to Monteverde by next year OIJ finds female body near where Carla Stefaniak went missing National Federation of Public Transport union members took to the streets of San José on Sept. 18 to protest a proposed public transport reform.The tried-and-true protest technique, referred to as tortuguismo (as in tortuga, or turtle) is always a big hit with motorists and anyone else doing battle with San José traffic on a daily basis. In this case, the buses were lining up to protest changes the Ministry of Public Transport is considering to the rules related to the transport of students, workers and tourists.Transport Vice Minister Liza Castillo told the daily La Nación that transport sector unions have a standing invitation to join the round tables discussing the proposed reforms, which are still in the drafting stage, but that the federation that staged the protest has refused to attend. The proposed reforms include changes to the maximum age of a licensed minibus (down to 15 years, from 20).Recommended: La nave – the joys and mysteries of San José buses Facebook Comments
Britain already has promised about $280 million in development assistance per year until 2017.The World Bank said the delivery of international aid and its use in building a more effective state has been hampered by “inevitable waste and corruption, aid dependency and use of parallel systems to circumvent limited government absorptive capacity.”An abrupt aid cutoff, it warned in a report ahead of the conference, could lead to a collapse similar to the one after the Soviet Union pulled out in 1989, cutting off funding to the regime it once supported.Humanitarian organizations and agencies fear that the Tokyo conference will focus on accountability and managing declining funds to the detriment of Afghanistan’s needy.“The Tokyo conference will decide the lives of millions of people for years to come. We know that when the troops leave the attention will leave,” said Christine Roehrs, spokeswoman for Save the Children in Afghanistan. “We are worried that at Tokyo they will be talking about the conditions for aid rather than the aid itself.”Other organizations worry that there is a feeling that the Afghan war has been won or is at an end.“There is a need to portray this as a success story, especially in the United States. There have been gains, but they are reversible,” said Louise Hancock, Oxfam’s head of policy and advocacy in Afghanistan. Sponsored Stories Top Stories The Afghan economy, which is largely driven by international aid and military spending, is widely expected to go into recession after 2014. The U.S. already has almost halved the just over $4 billion it gave in 2010 and that is expected to be further cut next year.European Union countries are expected to contribute the equivalent of about $1.5 billion of the funds required post-withdrawal, but they like others, worry about how their funds will be spent.“We know Afghanistan will need continuous support and the EU is committed to that. But we are not blind and we feel a considerable fatigue among taxpayers in the EU and beyond,” said Vygaudas Usackas, the EU’s special representative for Afghanistan. He described Tokyo as a “game changer” because the Afghans would be held accountable for the funds they receive in the future.Japan agrees that the conference won’t merely be a handout fest.Tadamichi Yamamoto, the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan at Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stressed that Afghanistan must demonstrate its ability to properly implement and govern development projects.That commitment is expected to come in a document that will lay out a number of requirements including free and fair elections in 2014, improved finances and management, respect for human rights and respect for the rule of law. Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Associated PressKABUL, Afghanistan (AP) – Afghanistan will seek at least $4 billion from international donors this weekend at a crucial aid conference aimed at propping up the country after most foreign combat troops leave at the end of 2014.Nations that once gave liberally, however, want more guarantees that their taxpayers’ money will not be lost to corruption and mismanagement.Representatives from about 70 countries and organizations meeting Sunday in Tokyo will establish a roadmap of accountability to ensure that Afghanistan does more to improve governance and finance management, and to safeguard the democratic process, rule of law and human rights _ especially those of women. Foreign aid in the decade since the U.S. invasion in 2001 has led to better education and health care, with nearly 8 million children, including 3 million girls, enrolled in schools. That compares to 1 million children more than a decade ago, when girls were banned from school under the Taliban.Improved health facilities have halved child mortality and expanded basic health services to nearly 60 percent of Afghanistan population of more than 25 million _ compared to less than 10 percent in 2001.But donors have become wary of corruption-busting pledges that have not always been delivered. Some highly placed Afghan officials have been investigated for corruption but seldom prosecuted, and some of the graft investigations have come close to the president himself.The stakes are high as President Hamid Karzai faces international weariness with the war and frustration over his failure to crack down on corruption more than a decade after the U.S. invasion that ousted the Taliban.Afghanistan has received nearly $60 billion in such aid since 2002. The World Bank says foreign aid makes up nearly the equivalent of the country’s gross domestic product.Those funds, which are needed for basic services such as health care, education and infrastructure, are expected to sharply diminish after international troops withdraw even as the country faces continued threats from the Taliban and other Islamic militants. New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day The funds themselves will be channeled through the Afghan budget or trust funds controlled by international organizations such as the World Bank. To get the funds, the Afghan government has drafted 22 “national priority programs.” But to get endorsed, they have strict implementation and accountability clauses.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 0 Comments Share More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Check your body, save your life Quick workouts for men Karzai has said he will ask for $4 billion annually for the first three years of what his government describes as a period of transformation from 2015 to 2025. That will come on top of $4.1 billion pledged last May at a NATO conference in Chicago to fund the Afghan National Security Forces from 2015 to 2017.The World Bank has calculated that Afghanistan will need $3.3 billion to $3.9 billion in annual non-security spending for those first three years of the transition to cover a shortfall in its gross domestic product of just over $17 billion.But donors will be looking to provide their funds through the government’s bureaucracy in a way that will minimize the risk of having them siphoned off in a country that was listed last year as the third most corrupt in the world.Despite the concerns, Britain and other nations agree Afghanistan will need significant help in the post-2014 era so it does not slip back into chaos and civil war.“Afghanistan faces enormous challenges in the years ahead, and will require significant long term international development assistance. If that is not forthcoming the progress made so far with security and development will be put at risk, with repercussions for Afghans, the region and us,” Andrew Mitchell, Britain’s international development secretary, warned during a trip to Kabul earlier this week. Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates
New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Associated PressBEIJING (AP) – Eight Chinese miners were rescued Sunday after being trapped underground for more than three days in a flooded coal mine, while seven workers in another mine were killed by a gas explosion.State broadcaster CCTV said the eight miners were lifted to the ground in Leiyang, a city in central Hunan province. Three other miners were believed to be still alive underground.State television showed rescuers in orange suits and helmets lifting the workers on stretchers while a crowd of miners and others applauded. The survivors were placed in ambulances where nurses treated them before they were driven off to hospitals. Sponsored Stories Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Comments Share Safety improvements have cut annual fatalities by about one-third from a high of 6,995 in 2002. That improvement has come despite a tripling in the output of coal, which generates most of China’s electrical power.Technological advances, better training and the closing of the most dangerous, small-scale mining operations have also made rescues more successful.In April 2010, 115 miners were pulled from a flooded mine in the northern province of Shanxi after more than a week underground. They survived by eating sawdust, tree bark, paper and even coal. Some strapped themselves to the walls of the shafts with their belts to avoid drowning while they slept.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Top Stories At another coal mine in the same province, a gas explosion killed seven workers Sunday morning in the city of Lianyuan, the official Xinhua News Agency said. Thirty-nine other workers managed to escape and an investigation into the cause of the accident is under way, the report said.Calls to the Lianyuan city work safety bureau rang unanswered Sunday.The Leiyang mine flood trapped 16 workers on Wednesday and 11 of them were confirmed alive on Saturday, said a provincial official who refused to give his name as is customary.Many of the miners were injured, Xinhua said. It said the flood in the mine occurred when 40 miners were working underground, and two dozen escaped.Managers of the mine failed to report the accident in the required time, causing rescue efforts to be delayed by at least 12 hours, the agency reported. Mine managers often attempt to avoid punishment by either rescuing miners themselves or covering up accidents.The mine owner is under police custody, Xinhua said.Mine floods usually occur when miners drill through to abandoned shafts that have been allowed to fill with water. Along with gas explosions and cave-ins, they make China’s coal mines the world’s deadliest, although the death rate has fallen. ErrorOKFree Rate QuoteCall now 623-889-0130 ErrorOK How do cataracts affect your vision?
Arizona families, Arizona farms: working to produce high-quality milk Comments Share Sponsored Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Day Obama’s use of that single word was warmly welcomed by top government officials here, who immediately imbued it with significance.Myanmar presidential adviser Ko Ko Hlaing called the wording “very positive” and said it was an “acknowledgement of Myanmar’s government,” which has taken major steps toward easing repression and transitioning to democratic rule since the military stepped aside last year.Speaking aboard Air Force One after Obama’s departure, U.S. Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said the presidential phrasing was “a diplomatic courtesy” for Myanmar’s reformist President Thein Sein.“It doesn’t change the fact that the United States government position is still Burma,” he said. “But we’ve said we recognize that different people call this country by different names. Our view is that is something we can continue to discuss.”The issue is so sensitive that Obama’s aides had said earlier Monday he would likely avoid mentioning either politically charged name. But he used both during his six-hour trip _ “Myanmar” during morning talks with Thein Sein, “Burma” afterward while visiting with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. How do cataracts affect your vision? Top Stories Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Associated PressYANGON, Myanmar (AP) – Officially at least, America still calls this Southeast Asian nation Burma, the favored appellation of dissidents and pro-democracy activists who opposed the former military junta’s move to summarily change its name 23 years ago.President Barack Obama used that name during his historic visit Monday, but he also called Burma what its government and many other people have been calling it for years: Myanmar. Suu Kyi herself was criticized by the government for calling the nation Burma during a trip to Europe over the summer. The government said she should use the proper name, “Republic of the Union of Myanmar,” as stated in the constitution. But Suu Kyi has said “it’s for each individual to make his or her own choice as to which he or she uses.”The debate is almost exclusively confined to the English language.Myanmar, comprising a vast array of ethnic groups, did not exist as a single entity until it was colonized by the British in the 19th century. The country achieved independence in 1948 and took the English-language name used by its former rulers, Burma.But it was formally known in Burmese, the national language, as “myanma naing ngan” or more colloquially as “bama pyi” or “country of Burma.” Both those usages persist, and the national anthem still refers to “bama pyi.”When the now-defunct army junta altered the name in 1989, the change applied only to the English-language title.But exiles and critics, just like the U.S., kept on using “Burma.” And some, including the U.S., still call its main city “Rangoon” instead of Yangon. But like Myanmar itself, that has all begun to change.Visiting U.S. senators have used both names. Even at congressional hearings in Washington, there’s an occasional mention of “Myanmar.”___Associated Press writer Julie Pace contributed to this report from Air Force One. Pitman reported from Bangkok.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Sponsored Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Comments Share Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help ___Moshe Kahlon, KulanuInfluential newcomer Kahlon heads the center-right Kulanu party. Set to serve as finance minister, he has pledged to carry out economic reforms and lower the cost of living for the struggling middle class.He rose through the ranks of Netanyahu’s Likud to become one of its most popular leaders before leaving the party in an apparent dispute with the prime minister and setting out on his own. While he has taken a hard line on security matters in the past, Kahlon said little about the Palestinian issue during the campaign.He is considered socially liberal and maintains a working-class appeal. As a centrist party also capable of working with the opposition, Kulanu could also potentially play a key role in pulling apart the coalition.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The vital role family plays in society FILE – In this Wednesday, March 18, 2015 file photo, Moshe Kahlon, Kulanu party leader, greets his supporters in the city of Tel Aviv, Israel. Influential newcomer Kahlon heads the center-right Kulanu party. Set to serve as finance minister, he has pledged to carry out economic reforms and lower the cost of living for the struggling middle class. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov, File) Yaalon caused a discord with Israel’s closest ally when he called U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry “obsessive” and “messianic” over making peace between Israelis and Palestinians and dismissed a U.S. security plan for the region as worthless. Yaalon also plays a key role in Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank — a key point of contention with the Palestinians and the international community.___Naftali Bennett, Jewish HomeA former special forces soldier and high-tech millionaire, Bennett breathed new life into Israel’s old National Religious Party and has rebranded it into a powerful force in Israeli politics. With a strong nationalistic message, the charismatic leader of the Jewish Home party succeeded in broadening the appeal of his movement, attracting large numbers of secular voters for the first time.Jewish Home, which is linked to the West Bank settler movement and opposes even talking about withdrawing from territory for the establishment of a Palestinian state, brings a hawkish tone to the coalition. Bennett has called peace talks with the Palestinians a waste of time and his positions will make it difficult to make any progress in peace talks with the Palestinians, if those are rekindled. Bennett is slated to be minister of education in the emerging government, a post where he can infuse some of his world view in the Israeli school system. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Top Stories JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli prime minister’s new coalition government is dominated by nationalists and religious parties, setting Israel on a collision course with the international community on multiple fronts. The success of that government rests largely on the key players involved.Here is a look at the leading politicians in the new government:Benjamin Netanyahu, LikudThe prime minister faces many challenges, both at home and abroad, as he begins his fourth term as prime minister. His narrow religious-hawkish coalition– with the slimmest of majorities in parliament– leaves him vulnerable to the whims of his partners or even demands from any individual coalition lawmaker. His Likud party has traditionally held tough positions toward Palestinian statehood and largely opposes ceding territory for a future state. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist That puts his government at odds with Washington, which has made ending the conflict with a two-state solution a top foreign policy goal. Netanyahu grudgingly accepted the idea of Palestinian independence in the past but in a dramatic last-minute appeal to hard-line voters toward the end of the election campaign, he pledged to prevent a Palestinian state while regional unrest persists. That statement angered the U.S., worsening already tense relations with Israel’s most important ally.Netanyahu also butted heads with Washington over the emerging nuclear deal with Iran, Israel’s arch-enemy. As Washington closes in on a deal opposed by Israel ahead of a deadline next month, tensions could rise further. Domestically, he needs to tread carefully to keep his fragile coalition together while resolving a multitude of social issues — from a housing crisis and the high cost of living to draft exemptions for ultra-Orthodox males and healing rifts with Arab and Ethiopian minorities.___Moshe Yaalon, LikudIsrael’s defense minister in the previous government, Yaalon will continue in that capacity in the emerging coalition. He served as the military chief of staff between 2002 and 2005, leading operations in the West Bank against Palestinian militants. He was critical of Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, and has taken a hard line on security issues. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement ___Ayelet Shaked, Jewish HomeA pugnacious, secular woman in the Jewish Home party, Shaked is popular with supporters as a telegenic and unapologetic voice for the nationalist camp.Netanyahu grudgingly agreed that the 39-year-old, who has no legal experience, be appointed to the influential post of justice minister as a condition for her party joining the coalition. Shaked has been an outspoken critic of the country’s judiciary, widely seen as a liberal bastion, and is seeking influence over the appointment of judges. She has also championed several bills that critics say are meant to stifle dovish groups.___Uri Ariel, Jewish HomeIn the last government, Ariel served as housing minister, using the post to promote settlement construction in the West Bank, which Palestinians envision as part of their future state. Many housing projects in the territories Palestinians demand were announced strategically under his tenure and spread animosity and mistrust during peace talks that eventually collapsed last year.Ariel is set to be agriculture minister in the incoming government, a post that that will allow him to support West Bank settler farms. The party says he will also head the World Zionist Organization’s “settlement division,” a government-funded body that promotes projects in the West Bank.
Many lawmakers from both parties disapproved when the five Guantanamo detainees were swapped for Bergdahl. They complained that the White House did not give Congress a 30-day notification of the transfer, which is required by law. The White House said it couldn’t wait 30 days because Bergdahl’s life was endangered.After the transfer, the House Armed Services Committee demanded the Pentagon release internal documents about the swap. The committee received hundreds, but lawmakers complained that they were heavily redacted. The committee inserted language in the fiscal 2016 defense policy bill that threatens to cut Pentagon spending by about $500 million if the Defense Department doesn’t provide additional information about the exchange.On Friday, lawmakers stepped up their calls.“This release was a complete overreach by the White House, ignoring U.S. law,” said Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “Already over the past year, it’s been reported that the flimsy ‘security assurances’ in Qatar have been violated, jeopardizing our security. In a few days, these assurances disappear and Taliban leaders will be free to return to the battlefield, putting U.S. security interests and Americans at risk.” Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments Share Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, meanwhile, said Congress would “continue our efforts to investigate the administration’s handling of the Taliban Five swap.”___Klapper reported from Geneva.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 5 things to look for when selecting an ophthalmologist FILE – In this file image taken from video obtained from Voice Of Jihad Website, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, sits in a vehicle guarded by the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan. A one-year travel ban is expiring for five senior Taliban leaders held in U.S. detention at Guantanamo Bay until they were released last year in exchange for Bergdahl, who was held captive by the Taliban for nearly five years after he walked away from his Army post in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Voice Of Jihad Website via AP video, File) The White House on Friday acknowledged that discussions were underway with Qatar as to how the former detainees should be handled but refused to divulge details.“The United States has been in touch with our partners in Qatar about the kind of steps that we believe are important to protecting the national security of the American people,” press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters.Under the terms of the May 2014 exchange, the five detainees were sent to Qatar, where government officials agreed to monitor their activities and prevent them from traveling out of the country for one year. In return, Bergdahl, who had been held captive by the Taliban for nearly five years after walking away from his Army post in Afghanistan, was released to the U.S. military. He recently was charged with desertion.At least one of the five allegedly contacted militants during the past year while in Qatar. No details have been disclosed about that contact, but the White House confirmed that one was put under enhanced surveillance.One or more of the detainees met with some members of the al-Qaida-affiliated Haqqani militant group in Qatar earlier in the year, according to Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. That was an indication that the group was reaching out to communicate with the so-called Taliban Five, said Graham, who predicted all five will rejoin the fight. Four of the five former detainees remain on the United Nations’ blacklist, which freezes their assets and has them under a separate travel ban. But the U.N. itself has acknowledged that its travel ban has been violated. In a report late last year, the U.N. sanctions committee stated, “Regrettably, the monitoring team continues to receive a steady — albeit officially unconfirmed — flow of media reports indicating that some listed individuals have become increasingly adept at circumventing the sanctions measures, the travel ban in particular.”The State Department insists that U.S. officials work to mitigate the risk of former Guantanamo detainees returning to the fight, threatening Americans or jeopardizing U.S. national security. U.S. officials have noted in the past that the five Taliban leaders are middle-aged or older, were former officials in the Taliban government and probably wouldn’t be seen again on any battlefield, although they could continue to be active members of the Taliban.Members of Congress have repeatedly expressed concern about what will happen after the travel ban expires and criticized the administration for releasing the five in the first place. They have asked the Obama administration to try to persuade Qatar to extend the monitoring. Top Stories WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is closing in on an agreement with Qatar to extend travel bans for five senior Taliban leaders released last year from the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, U.S. officials said Friday.A deal now being negotiated with Qatar would see the restrictions that expire Monday extended for another six months, the officials said. If the talks are successful, the agreement could be announced over the weekend, according to the officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly speak to the matter. Quick workouts for men Sponsored Stories How men can have a healthy 2019
Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Sponsored Stories Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Top Stories Comments Share 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Check your body, save your life UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said those goals have helped achieve tremendous progress, “but they also showed us how many children we are leaving behind.”“If the global community allows the current trends to continue we will fail millions of children,” he warned in a conference call.On the plus side, since 1990, under-five mortality dropped by more than half, chronic malnutrition among children under five decreased by 41 percent, and millions more children have gotten a primary school education. But on the negative side, six million children still die every year before their fifth birthday and 58 million children don’t go to primary school.Lake urged world leaders who will meet in September to put the planet’s poorest children at the heart of new development goals for 2030 that they will adopt.He said this can reduce the cycle of poverty in which yesterday’s poor, uneducated children become today’s poor, uneducated adults who pass on that same life to their children.The report warned that continued failure to reach these children can have dramatic consequences.At current rates of progress, given projected population growth, UNICEF estimated that 68 million more children under five will die from mostly preventable causes by 2030 — and an estimated 119 million children will still be chronically malnourished by that date. 4 must play golf courses in Arizona UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. children’s agency is warning that unless the world focuses on the most disadvantaged youngsters in its new goals to fight global poverty over the next 15 years, millions more children will die from mostly preventable causes and be chronically undernourished.UNICEF’s “Progress for Children” report released Monday night said that despite significant achievements since world leaders adopted the Millennium Development Goals in 2000, unequal opportunities have left millions of youngsters to die young or live in poverty without an education. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober
Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories The group had tried to announce “an Islamic state, in their concept, an Islamic State in Sinai,” he said. “These are the messages, very simply, that they are putting out to us,” adding that the area was now under control.El-Sissi praised the troops for “foiling a very big plan.”“No one can impose on the Egyptians something they don’t want,” he said. “To reach the Egyptians they have to pass through the army, the sons of Egypt.”The army said 17 soldiers and over 100 militants were killed in Wednesday’s brazen attack in Sinai, although before the release of its official statement, several senior security officials from multiple branches of Egypt’s forces in the area had said that scores more troops also died in the fighting.The assault, which was claimed by an Islamic State group affiliate, lasted a whole day and was unprecedented in its size and coordination. The attack hit a string of army checkpoints and involved multiple suicide bombings and the siege of a main police station with heavy weapons.It came in a week of bloodletting that saw Egypt’s prosecutor general assassinated outside his Cairo home by a massive car bomb, and a special forces raid on an apartment that killed nine members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. The Brotherhood responded by calling for a “rebellion,” raising the prospect of a further uptick in violence. Top Stories Four benefits of having a wireless security system Comments Share The Egyptian Foreign Ministry blamed all the past week’s violence on the Brotherhood, which it said was not only the main source of Islamic extremism, but also coordinated operations on the ground.“All of these attacks were conducted days apart, and showed a level of sophistication and coordination that affirms the presence of organized terrorist activity perpetrated by the Muslim Brotherhood,” it said in a statement given to reporters on Saturday.Egypt routinely blames the Muslim Brotherhood for violent attacks in the country.Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said the timing of the recent attacks make the associations between the Brotherhood and IS extremists “apparent.”“This is a matter of motives… I, as I think any Egyptian on the street, will make the educated presumption that this was perpetrated by the Muslim Brotherhood. Many of the (online) sites of Muslim Brotherhood rejoiced at the fact,” he said.In Sinai, violence continued Saturday. A bomb exploded next to a power station in Sheikh Zuweid, killing two workers and injuring another, security officials said.And in Rafah, a city on the border with the Gaza Strip, they said a roadside bomb exploded near a civilian home Saturday, killing a child and wounding four others. They spoke anonymously because regulations did not permit them to release the information otherwise. CAIRO (AP) — President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, wearing battle dress for the first time in over a year, said Saturday that Egypt had foiled an attempt by the Islamic State group to seize territory and set up an extremist state with its recent assault on the military in the troubled northeastern part of the Sinai Peninsula.In combat fatigues he had said he hung up for good when he ran for president, the general-turned-politician met members of the army and delivered a televised speech to troops in Sinai, his first public comments on Wednesday’s unprecedented attack. FILE – In this Thursday, July 2, 2015, file photo, people carry the coffin for 1st Lt. Mohammed Ashraf, killed in Wednesday’s attack by Islamic militants in the Sinai, during the funeral procession in Ashmoun, north of Cairo, Egypt. When Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi led the army’s overthrow of Egypt’s Islamist president two years ago, he promised to usher in new stability for the country. Instead, now President el-Sissi is facing an even tougher challenge: An Islamic militant insurgency that unleashed its worst violence yet the past week. (AP Photo/Ashour Abosalm, File) Check your body, save your life Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Also Saturday, the Islamic State affiliate in the Sinai said it had fired three Grad rockets at Israel a day earlier.In a statement posted on its Twitter account, the group which calls itself the IS group’s Sinai Province said it fired the rockets because Israel was supporting the Egyptian regime. It also claimed Israeli aircraft had joined Egyptian warplanes in bombing its fighters.Israel’s military said the rocket was fired into southern Israel on Friday afternoon, hitting an open field but causing no damage or injuries. Egyptian military and security officials in Sinai have denied any rockets were fired from the restive peninsula.In combat operations late Friday, the Egyptian army said Apache attack helicopters fired missiles at groups of extremists, killing 10 of them.___Associated Press writers Maamoun Youssef and Merrit Kennedy in Cairo contributed to this report.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Mesa family survives lightning strike to home 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies
<a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/2712f/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=132&cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&n=ada84479″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Source = e-Travel Blackboard: J.L Members of Qantas’ frequent flyer scheme will no longer be able to hoard their loyalty points for three years, the carrier downsizing the expiry of points to 18 months this week.The new scheme will kick in from 1 July 2010, where points earned from that date onwards will have an 18-month shelf life. Points earned before that date will still be valid for three years.To keep the points, Qantas’ 6.7 million frequent flyer members will have to make a transaction either by earning more points or redeeming them for flights or at any of the airline’s 400 commercial partner outlets such as Woolworths.A Qantas spokeswoman told e-Travel Blackboard today that the program had been developed “quite significantly over the part 18 months,” with aims to keep members active.However, she said the changes to the scheme had not been influenced by direct consumer research or feedback.The carrier updated the changes to the scheme on its website on Monday and said it had sent notification to all its frequent flyer members.
Viking CruisesOne week left of Viking’s trade incentiveThere is only one week left for travel agents to take advantage of Viking Cruises’ river and ocean trade incentive, and the opportunity to win an 8-day ocean and an 8-day river cruise.The most river cruise deposited bookings made by an agent between 1 July and 30 September 2017 will win an 8-day Danube Waltz (Christmas Markets) river cruise, from 24 November to 1 December 2017. This 8-day itinerary reveals the highlights of Passau, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest, while cruising leisurely through spectacular scenery and visiting the famous European Christmas markets.The most ocean cruise deposited bookings made by an agent between 1 July and 30 September 2017 will win an 8-day Turquoise Caribbean Seas ocean cruise, from 10 December to 17 December 2017. Explore the magnificent Mayan treasures of the western Caribbean on this 8-day ocean cruise Miami to Miami.The competition closes at 11:59pm AEST, 30 September 2017. Winner will be announced by Friday 14 October 2017.For additional information, contact Viking Cruises at 138 747 (Australia) and 0800 447 913 (New Zealand) or visit www.vikingcruises.com.au .To join the Viking Cruises community online, visit www.facebook.com/VikingCruisesTravelAgents/Source = Viking River Cruises
Meri Krismas and Hapi Niu Yia 2018 from the SIVBMeri Krismas and Hapi Niu Yia 2018 from the SIVBPictured getting into the ‘Krismas’ mode in Honiara this week, Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau CEO, Josefa ‘Jo’ Tuamoto (standing on left) and his head office team.Pointing towards record-breaking August and September international visitor arrivals Mr Tuamoto said these figures were clear indicators the destination was well on track to enjoy yet another year of positive growth.“But we’ll wait until we see final Q4 figures before we start popping the champagne corks,” he said.“In the meantime the entire SIVB team, both in the Solomon Islands and overseas would like to say a big ‘Tagio Tumas’ to all our valued tourism partners for their wonderful support in 2017.“And ‘lukim iu lo 2018’.”Source = Mike Parker- Brown – Solomon Islands Visitors Bureau PR
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The Global Destination Sustainability (GDS) Index aims to promote the sustainable growth of international meeting destinations, highlighting best practices and responsible business tourism. In a world increasingly focused on responsible business and environmental impact, the GDS-Index helps destinations to engage clients with sustainability align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and drive the adoption, promotion and recognition of sustainable practices in their city.Cities are measured on their environmental, social, supplier and Convention Bureau performance. Copenhagen was given a total GDS-index of 79% just four percent after 1st ranked Gothenburg but well above the GDS-index average of 55%. Copenhagen scored a perfect 100% in social performance. Compared to the index average of 39% on the Convention Bureau performance, Copenhagen CVB scored a satisfying 75% but with room for improvements.
The official promotional company for London – London and Partners is increasing its efforts to attract the Indian businesses and investors, with the opening of a new overseas office in India’s tech capital, Bengaluru. The new office is part of London’s continued drive to strengthen trade and investment links with India and will ease the process for Indian companies setting up, or expanding in London.David Slater, Director-International Trade and Investment, London and Partners highlighted, “India is a market with a long history of trading links to the UK and London in particular. London and Bengaluru are hotbeds for innovation and creativity and we see a fantastic opportunity for UK and Indian tech companies to do business across both markets. Our decision to open a new office in Bengaluru will help us reach key decision makers in India and support our continued drive to help Indian businesses expand and internationalise in London.”